Your guide to getting the perfect crispy pork crackling

May 14, 2023 (Last Updated: May 12, 2023)
Crispy pork crackling

Snap, crackle, pork! We’re here to help you crack the code to the perfect crispy pork crackling.

There is no secret that the most enjoyable part of the pork is the crispy crackling on top of a delicious and juicy pork belly or pork shoulder. To achieve this, the main factors would be time as well as the dryness of the skin. Take a look at our step-by-step guide to creating the perfect crispy pork crackling.


You will need

  • 2 kg boneless pork belly
  • flaky sea salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil



REMOVE the pork belly from the packaging and transfer to a baking tray. Air dry your pork belly in the fridge overnight. Remove from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking.

PREHEAT the oven to 240ºC. Pat the pork rind, skin with a paper towel. Score the air dried pork belly skin/rind at 2 cm intervals.

TURN the pork belly over and season with salt and other flavourings of your choice (garlic powder, dried herbs, salt and pepper).

RUB the skin/rind with flaky sea salt and be sure to get it into the score lines in the skin. Once all of the scores have been salted, rub the excess salt off the skin.

TRANSFER the pork belly to a baking tray and brush with oil. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the rind crackles.

REDUCE the heat to 180ºC and bake for another 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on how welldone you like your roast.

REMOVE from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

FOOD TEAM TIP: For extra pop on your crackling, you can brush the skin with oil and turn the grill on full for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Keep an eye on it while it grills so it doesn’t burn. To check if the pork is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the meat with a knife. If the juices run clear, the pork is cooked.



Why is my pork crackling not going crispy?

  • Not enough salt: Use enough salt to cover the pork belly rind as this is what causes the crackling to puff up and become crispy. Rub it into the skin really well, including into the scored grooves.
  • The skin wasn’t dry enough: Make sure to pat the pork completely dry before rubbing in the salt and oil as excess moisture will stop it from crisping up.
  • It’s important to score the skin if you want it really crisp. You’ll need a sharp knife for this, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
  • Insufficient heat will make it hard for the skin to get really crisp. Make sure to take the pork out of the fridge 30 minutes before you cook it so that the meat reaches room temperature. A high starting temperature is essential for crisping up the pork.
  • We recommend turning the oven on for about 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.
  • Using a convection oven: This is a bulletproof way to secure a crispy pork skin as the air is evenly circulated through the oven, but don’t stress if you don’t have a convection oven.

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Adapted from the Food&Home Autumn 2023 issue.

Feature image: Getty Images

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